Chapter 3

Before You Step Outside the Wire, Determine Your Objective

The Six Steps of Planning

1. Determine the mission objective.
2. Identify the threats.
3. Identify your resources.
4. Evaluate lessons learned.
5. Develop a course of action.
6. Plan for contingencies.

Planning is serious business. Without good planning, execution toward an objective becomes much more difficult. Even though managers in business know this well, they often fail to plan effectively. Business leaders often conceive of an idea or objective, and then act to execute it without the planning so familiar to veterans. Too often, an excited team begins a project, becomes overwhelmed by the minor tactical issues that they encounter along the way, and ultimately falls short of achieving their goal. Sometimes, they become lost in a flurry of insignificant activity. That activity makes them feel good because they are doing something; they are busy. But, doing something rather than the right thing just wastes time and energy.

The Nike slogan “Just Do It” isn't a sufficient driver of success in businesses any more than it is in military endeavors. As veterans, we know that every great plan starts with an objective. At a tactical level, we understand that a good objective is stated clearly to eliminate ambiguity. We also know that a good objective is measureable in an indisputably quantifiable way. You are either successful or you are not; there is no question about which it was. Good objectives are also achievable. ...

Get Down Range: A Transitioning Veteran's Career Guide to Life's Next Phase now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.